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Retired Navy Leader Raquel Bono on Defense Health Agency’s Effort to Unify Military Health Systems

2 mins read

Raquel Bono
Raquel Bono

Raquel Bono, a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral and former director of the Defense Health Agency, told Government Matters in a video interview posted Thursday about DHA’s progress in consolidating military health systems.

She cited some of the challenges facing DHA as it works to advance the consolidation effort, such as facilitating communications and making sure that the agency has the right type of standardized processes.

Bono, a 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, mentioned the service-specific elements DHA wants to preserve, opportunities to pursue standardization and factors she will be watching to determine whether the consolidation effort is working.

“It was important for us from the beginning to decide what do we want it to look like? How do we know if it is successful? From our patient’s perspective, what that would mean is how they make an appointment in one place, in one duty station, it is the same way they make the appointment at another duty station. No matter if they are on the east coast and then get transferred to the west coast, they’ll be able to make the appointment the same way, and they’ll have access to the care they need,” Bono said.  

“The other measure of effectiveness that we wanted to look at and position ourselves to do was to minimize the time that active duty members spent away from doing their job because of medical conditions … Those are the things that I will be looking at that to see, ‘did we get this right and are doing it the right way?’”

She also mentioned the support Congress offers to DHA through the National Defense Authorization Act.